Movie Review: “Boyhood” — a celebration of depressive dysfunction in a clever package

Boyhood movieBoyhood, which opened in July 2014 and is currently slated as one of the top contenders for Best Picture, has earned that rarest of rare accolades:  a 100% score on Metacritic.  Critics just love the movie.

The most obvious thing they love about the movie is the movie’s gimmick, which is actually quite clever.  The movie was filmed over the course of 12 years, with the same actors gathering together for a few days each year to shoot that year’s scenes.  It’s seamlessly edited, so you see the children grow up and the parents grow old.  In that way, it’s like watching a very well-produced montage of home movies.  Small wonder that probably 75% of each of the reviews I read centers on this clever technique.

Gimmicks alone, however, are not enough to sustain a 100% score created by looking at 49 different critic reviews.  The critics also really like the movie’s story arc and character development.  [If you're planning on seeing the movie, you might want to stop right about now, because I'm going to go into SPOILER territory.]

Giving you time to think about whether you want to continue. . . .

Tick. . . .

A little more thinking time. . . .

Tock. . . .

Okay, last chance.  After this sentence, a review filled with SPOILERS is about to begin. . . .

[Read more...]

Have any of you ever gone to Battlefield Vegas?

gun control ends well for those controlling gunsWe’re contemplating a trip to Las Vegas.  Since we neither drink nor gamble (and the kids can’t join in those activities in any event) we’re looking for other fun things to do while we’re there.  One of the top-rated activities is Battlefield Vegas.  As best as I can tell, you pay a fixed fee for shooting instruction, and then have the opportunity to fire real guns associated with famous battles or computer games.  It looks like incredible fun (the kids lost interest in any other activities after having heard about this one), but it’s also quite pricey — understandably so, if it’s everything that’s promised.  I’d love to hear from someone who’s actually been to Battlefield Vegas to make sure that it is indeed everything that’s promised.  For a large-ish family, the cost adds up quickly so, while there are no guarantees in life, knowing that it’s more likely than not to be fun would be helpful.

[VIDEO] Lies, damn lies, and statistics, when it comes to guns

More legal guns less crimeOne of my favorite rhetorical firebombs when people start talking about the wonders of socialized medicine, and the fact that it’s soooo much better than America’s pre-Obamacare sort-of free market insurance central medicine, is to tell them the dirty little secret behind infant mortality statistics. Socialized medicine fans like to point out that, when it comes to dead babies, America is so bad that it ranks behind Cuba, Greece, and Slovenia, among other places. They are left slack-jawed when I tell them that, before you can analyze the numbers, you have to know who’s doing the counting and how they’re doing it.

America, you see, is one of the few countries that counts all babies born alive as viable, no matter how likely it is that their desperately bad condition at birth will result in their swift death. Other countries, however, disregard those poor, fragile babies, and count only healthy babies when it comes to calculating infant mortality. A different common denominator makes for very different outcomes.

Keep that in mind as you follow Bill Whittle’s explanation about America’s murder-by-gun statistics:

The Bookworm Beat 1/22/15 — the illustrated edition and Open Thread

Thanks to all who contributed.  (I’ve kind of lost track of where I got these, but I know many are from Caped Crusader.) The last one, incidentally, is particularly riveting.

24 percent of young people in England expect another Holocaust

Paris France v Paris Texas

[Read more...]

Air Force Parachuters “Shake It Off” *UPDATED*

The dancing isn’t so great.  It’s the abandon with which they throw themselves off airplanes that had me mesmerized.  I get vertigo standing on a step-stool to change a light bulb, and these kids are gleefully hurling themselves out into nothing.

UPDATE: Caped Crusader sent me this WWII Paratrooper picture, which seems appropriate here:


Watcher’s Council nominations for January 20, 2015

Watcher's Council logoSorry about the silence today, but I was being a lawyer and, moreover, I was being a lawyer over at a client’s office, rather than here in my own home. After that, I quickly swung into being a bill paying, driving, and shopping mother, so this is my first time at my computer today. The sad truth is that I have no idea what’s going on today. I haven’t read a single news story. Also, I have to get in my votes for the Watcher’s Council, so I get the pleasure of reading those submissions first, before drowning myself in the usual bad news that is regular fare in Obama’s America.

Oh! One thing — I got teased by James Taranto for mixing metaphors in the title of my post about American Sniper: “American Sniper” — a Rorschach test separating wheat from chaff. He’s right too. What I really meant to say was “‘American Sniper’ — It’s like taking a Rorschach test, with the results helping separating smart patriots from dumb Leftists,” but I thought that title would be too long.

Anyway, here, straight from the Watcher’s Council, are this week’s nominations:

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

*Virginia Right’s Tom White continues to ascend! This week, an original song of his was featured on John Stossel’s FOX show. It starts about 5 minutes into this segment:

*This week, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, Seraphic Secret, The Pirate’s Cove and The Gates Of Vienna earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course your e-mail address won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

The Bookworm Beat 1/21/15 — “Post-SOTU” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingI didn’t watch the SOTU. Aside from finding Obama a boring, inelegant speaker, I was helping a client with trial prep. Today, the trial got continued for a few months so, before settling in for a nice 12 hour sleep (I wish!), I can blog — and share with you, among other things, a couple of my favorite SOTU analyses. I’ve got a lot to say, so I’ll just start saying….

My two favorite SOTU wrap-ups

As I admitted above, I did not watch the SOTU, so I can’t actually say if these wrap-ups are accurate. I can just say that I liked them.

From Neo-Neocon:

But Obama long ago concluded that the best defense is a good offense. He has never had to face the consequences of his failures. He has been able to fool most of the people most of the time, at least when it counted. He has skated past disaster after disaster, and gotten away with lie after lie. The biggest repercussion he’s been met with—the 2014 Democratic defeat in Congress—may not stop him. Republicans are somewhat toothless, in part because they are divided among themselves but also because Obama has veto power that will be difficult to override. He’s also got that phone and that pen, and the will to use them. He has successfully transformed the US into a second-rate power and allies into enemies (or at least, into abandoned and confused ex-allies). And he has turned enemies into, if not allies, then gloating and stronger forces in the world for whatever evil they’ve got in mind.

It’s actually worked out very well for Obama. So why not brag?

[Read more...]